Time management for solicitors and marketing

One of the difficulties of modern life is finding time in our busy schedules. In this article, Sue Bramall shares her advice on how solicitors can manage their time effectively and find more to devote to business development. Sue looks at the Eisenhower time management matrix as a tool for prioritising tasks and provides her own tips for improving time management.

What is this life if, full of care

We have no time to stand and stare


No time to stop when woods we pass

When squirrels hide their nuts in grass

These words came to me as I walked up through Green Park after a conference. They were prompted initially by the multitude of tourists trying to photograph a squirrel trying to bury a nut – presumably squirrels know that these particular tourists will not be coming back to dig it up.

But one thought led to another, about how little spare time we all seem to have now, particularly free time to simply step back and think about important things like where you want your business to go, and how you are going to get it there – never mind watching the squirrels.

Several sessions at the conference advised the delegates to find their focus, but that can be easier said than done in a law firm with multiple practice areas, the immediate demands of clients, staff and the Inland Revenue. Two sessions on compliance and regulation were enough to mop up the spare time of any partner – before marketing could get a look in. No wonder that I often get emails from marketing partners on a Sunday afternoon.

In the Eisenhower time management matrix, adapted here for illustration, where tasks are prioritised by Urgency (along the horizontal axis) and Importance (on the vertical axis), marketing and business development generally sit in the ‘important but not urgent’ corner, the ideas and plans that you never get around to unless you become adept at time management.

One way of improving time management for business development is to break bigger projects down into smaller bite size steps that you can accomplish in a short space of time. In a quote I first heard from David Yeoward, Warren Buffet is reported to have said that, ‘no matter ... Some things just take time. You cannot make a baby in a month by getting ten women pregnant.’

This reminded me of a recent conversation with some junior lawyers, who we advised to start building their network as early as possible. It takes time to build meaningful relationships, and to build trust to a degree that will facilitate a referral.

In the long term most marketing afford pays dividends, so start now and find a way to carve time out of your schedule for business development.

Back to Blog

Get in touch ...

We are always happy to have an informal chat. As a member of the Law Consultancy Network, if we cannot help you we may be able to introduce you to a specialist who can.

Tell us your communication preferences